"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Former Arkansas #JudgeJosephBoeckmann - but not his accomplices - was criminally charged, by the feds. State prosecutors feared for their livelihoods to charge a criminal in black robe and his friends

I wrote previously about misconduct of Arkansas judge Joseph Boeckmann, in May and June of 2016.

The judge resigned from his post during investigation that he traded lenient criminal sentences for nude and otherwise sexually suggestive pictures of male defendants - and forged court papers accordingly.

Some 4,500 pictures were involved - that "wealth" of pictures does not accumulate in one day.  Or one week.  Or even one year.

Some pictures, reportedly, involved a nude criminal defendant, handcuffed and in the courtroom - so multiple people had to be present or know about that - leaning forward, with pictures taken from the back, as a close-up.

The judge reportedly took some pictures as "betting with friends".

Back in June of 2016 I asked disturbing questions -

  • with 4,500 pictures, this behavior had to go on for a very long time, with a lot of people knowing about it - so why those people kept quiet?  They were afraid to lose their jobs?
  • why the 70-year-old Judge Boeckmann allowed to quietly resign (and keep his pension), and was not criminally charged?
  • why the sexual predator Judge Boeckmann's law license was not pulled?

As it often happens with criminal behavior of state judges, Judge Boeckmann was not criminally charged by state prosecutors - instead, the feds had to step in to prosecute him.

I must repeat that the monster of Judge Boeckmann could not emerge and exist for such a long time without:

1) the culture granting judges absolute immunity for malicious and corrupt acts on the bench;

2) the culture where attorneys, including prosecutors, who are supposed to report judicial misconduct, have their livelihoods in the hands of the judiciary - and are afraid to do their jobs as reporters of misconduct and as prosecutors;

3) the culture where judges are gods who can do no wrong - even when they are very obviously committing crimes - where court personnel prefers to rather be silent or complicit in criminal conduct (who undressed and kept that criminal defendant in handcuffs in the courtroom for the judge to take his nude pictures?)

4) the culture that provides minimal, if any, accountability for judges - even now Judge Boeckmann was allowed to simply resign, without any discipline, to obscure facts of his sorry case, and state prosecutors, having plenty of evidence, were afraid to touch his case, instead letting the feds to indict him instead.

I continue to ask the question - with so many people aiding and abetting judge Boeckmann, and soliciting his crimes (the "betting friends") - why only Judge Boeckmann was charged?

And why Judge Boeckmann is only charged for "wire fraud" and "witness tampering" and with no counts of sexual misconduct - to prevent the sorry facts to be aired in open court before the jury?

That's not the way to clean the judicial stables in Arkansas and elsewhere in this country.

And, by the way, even if federal criminal charges were filed, that does not prevent state prosecutors to file parallel state charges, there is no double jeopardy involved when state and federal prosecutors prosecute state and federal crimes stemming from the same fact pattern in separate criminal proceedings.

 So, why state prosecutors did not file any charges against Judge Boeckmann?

Because they, too, were intimidated?

And because, for them, charging a judge, even a former judge, with a crime, may be career suicide?

If that is true, then we need to seriously change the way attorneys are regulated in this country and take that regulation away from the hands of the judiciary.

Otherwise, prosecutors will continue to let a sex predator prey upon his victims for years and, possibly, decades - simply because the predator belongs to the class that can yank the prosecutor's livelihood.

On the one hand, we consider prosecutorial independence so important that allegedly that is because judges (not our elected public officials) gave prosecutors absolute immunity for MALICIOUS and CORRUPT acts in office.

On the other hand, we value prosecutorial independence so low that we keep prosecutors' own livelihood in the hands of the very people who prosecutors may have to investigate and indict.

Immunity for illegal acts of prosecutors in office, but no protection for doing their jobs.  Very logical.

And, the question remains.

Who are Judge Boeckmann's betting friends that the state and federal prosecutors are protecting?

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